Jared Leto Gave an Incredibly Powerful Speech About Refugees at the AMAs

November 23rd 2015

Diana Crandall

At the American Music Awards (AMAs), actor and musician Jared Leto gave a speech honoring the victims killed in a series of attacks led by Islamic extremists in Paris on Nov. 13.

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But before he introduced singer Celine Dion to sing “Hymne à l’amour” in honor of the victims, Leto made a powerful political comment in reference to the increase of anti-refugee and anti-Islamic rhetoric that has occurred in the days following the attack. 

“By the way, many of us here are the sons and the daughters of immigrants,” Leto said, pointing out that Steve Jobs was the son of a Syrian immigrant. President Obama is also the son of an immigrant.

Leto’s comments are particularly timely because 31 American governors of recently made it clear that they oppose accepting Syrian refugees in their states, according to CNN. 


Republican front-runner Donald Trump has also said he would not welcome refugees, saying that "they could be ISIS."

"If I win, they're going back," Trump said of the Syrian refugees.

But the reactions to Leto's speech online were overwhelmingly positive.

Leto noted in his speech that he and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, performed at the Bataclan concert hall earlier this year.

“It was beautiful, peaceful and unforgettable. What a difference a day makes.” 

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“France matters. Russia matters. Syria matters. Mali matters. The Middle East matters. The United States matters. The entire world matters and peace is possible," Leto said. 

The Bataclan was the deadliest location of the attacks, the BBC reports.